Leader of the opposition in Parliament Hon Brian Mundubile has accused President Hakainde Hichilema of corruption in the awarding of contracts to companies that belong to his friends.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Mr Mundubile said that if President Hakainde Hichilema called former president Edgar Lungu corrupt on allegations that he was giving contracts to his friends, he should say the same about himself now.
Hon Mundubile alleged that companies owned by friends of the Republican President are the ones getting government contracts through single sourcing.
“By the mere fact that the Auditor General did not sign those contracts when the President was in opposition, he campaigned vigorously that President Lungu was giving contracts to his friends. This was corruption. He called it corruption then, he should also call it corruption now,” he said.
“I want to call it corruption using his definition. Because if he is going to allow companies that are owed by his friends or indeed companies where he has interests, to be single sourced, everywhere. Talk of Mopani, KCM, Military Units, the same companies are doing work. What should we call it?”
Hon Mundubile said it is strange for the government whose leader claims to be fighting corruption to be single sourcing.
“And these particular contracts are not given out to public tender. So this is very strange for a man that has said he will fight corruption. We can’t turn Zambia into a private business. We want to call upon the President to resist the temptation of believing that Zambia is private business. Let the President understand that the way we run a business and the way a country is run are totally different,” he said.
“What we are seeing now is your friends and your companies being given business everyday through single sourcing. This is unacceptable. And we are going to call it out for what it is, this is corruption. And I hope that from here, the President and his handlers will sit down and reflect to ensure that if they are going to build confidence in the Zambian people, in the fight against corruption, we must see that political will.”
The Lawmaker added that “when any minister under the government of the saints is reported to have committed corruption, all the President does is pick up the phone and call that particular minister. And when the Minister refutes the allegation, it ends there because it is the government of saints.
“We have tried with my fellow lawyers and colleagues to try and find the law in the fight against corruption that provides for a mare phone call from the President asking the suspect and once he says no that’s the end. To this end we haven’t found it.”